LAGOS – Some gynecologists in Lagos on Sunday advised couples who had been married for more than six months to one year without conception to seek help from fertility experts.
The experts, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), insisted that In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) was needed to prevent risks due to late conception.
IVF is the fertilisation of an ovum by mixing it with sperm in a laboratory after which the fertilised egg is implanted in the uterus to continue normal development.
Dr Tunde Okewale, a Consultant Gynaecologist at St. Ives Specialist Hospital in Lagos, noted that the problem of infertility was fast becoming a serious family problem in the country.
Okewale said that advanced fertility treatment such as IVF had been helpful to more patients to overcome their infertility problems.
He, however, linked ignorance and religious beliefs as factors affecting many couples’ approach to infertility problems.
“Too many couples seeking medical help early for their infertility problems contradict their religious belief and faith system.
“These couples finally present themselves for medical intervention in their 40s when it is more difficult to treat what could have been a simple problem in their late 20s or early 30s.
“There is a real danger that infertility could become an epidemic problem in our society due to a combination of many socioeconomic, environmental and life style issues afflicting our society.
“Until our governments see infertility as a social problem and subsidise its cost, many treatable infertility problems will remain with us, hence contributing to the rise of infertility and its attendant social problems,” he said.
Another Specialist, Dr Adegbite Ogunmokun of Eko Hospital, Lagos, said IVF was used to assist couples who have difficulties in producing embryo due to infertility problems or age.
“IVF is also called assisted reproduction,’’ he said, adding that: “It can be regarded as a natural process of conception done outside the human body’’.
Ogunmokun identified the major challenges of the IVF process as lack of interest by patients to accept the procedure or believe in the process.
He said that though IVF was quite expensive due to specialised equipment and personnel, couples faced with fertility crises should be encouraged to embrace the procedure.
Ogunmokun said that there was usually a 30 per cent success rate of IVF. (NAN